Black Tank

Discussion in 'RV Tips & Tricks' started by frogbert, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. frogbert

    frogbert New Member

    Being new to the RV scene, dumping the tanks didn't seem like much of a problem for my first time at it last weekend, but I have a question about the black tank.

    If I'm done camping and heading home, I dump the black tank...should I put a few gallons of water back in it and add some of the chems to let it slosh around while driving home and then dump that next time I go camping (as long as it is not too long between trips)? Or is it better to just dump the tank and be done with it until next time?
     
  2. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Black Tank

    Keep it as clean as you can all the time. Don't ever let it sit with (you know what) in it for very long. I always put in a couple gallons of water and treatment after dumping, for smell and to treat what is left in tank after dumping. You just can't get in completely pure when dumping and in hot weather it will stink.
     
  3. Gary B

    Gary B Senior Member

    Black Tank

    Hi frogbert, welcome to the forum and to rving, do as Archer does. After dumping I add a couple of gals of water and the chemicals and leave it, as Archer said in hot weather it prevents the smell and that way your ready to go for the next trip. It doesn't hurt a thing to have water and chemical in the tank for long periods, mine has been in as long as 6/7 months over winter. Happy camping. :) :laugh: :cool: :bleh: :approve:
     
  4. Gruffy

    Gruffy New Member

    Black Tank

    I keep it wet but never add chemicals. We let the bugs :clown: do their work and know that when we dump were not loading the septic tank with formaldahyde.
     
  5. frogbert

    frogbert New Member

    Black Tank

    Thanks for the advice!

    Okay Gruffy, I understand not wanting to use chemicals, but what do you mean by letting the bugs do their work? :dead:

    Can I use something like Rid-X in the black tank?
     
  6. Terry6

    Terry6 New Member

    Black Tank

    I thought they banned the use of formaldehyde because shock to RV Park systems. And won't the water evaporate fairly quickly especially in hot wheater.
     
  7. rlmurraysr59

    rlmurraysr59 New Member

    Black Tank

    Frogbert:
    Does your black water tank have an onboard rinsing system? If not you might consider either buying or making up one yourself, which is what I did, so you can run a hose into your bathroom, put the nozzle down the toilet and give the tank a good spraying out once in a while. Toilet tissue has a tendency to cling and it can harden if left in a dry tank.

    Putting in the chemicals helps to break down the solid waste while you are driving it and it is sloshing about in the tank. But don't leave to much in there. After all you are hauling extra weight you don't have to if you don't dump the tank. Many municipalities have dumping stations that are free to residence. I use to fill my tank about half full of water and then pull it the two or three miles to the waste water station and dump it. That way I knew if was clean.

    You might also consider leaving a little water with some chemical in it in the toilet itself. There are products on the market that claim to keep the seals lubricated. Not a bad idea.

    Don't forget to wear rubber gloves when dumping your waste water, and be sure to wash your hands with soapy water afterward. Hepatitis infections can be contracted even if you are dumping your own waste. Better safe than sorry. You can buy a clear plastic elbow to put on the end of the pipe so that you can tell when all of the waste matter has evacuated the tank. Not pretty to watch but effective.

    Good Luck

    RonSR

    '02 Southwind 37U/Workhorse Chassis
    '01 GMC Sonoma w/Brake Buddy
     
  8. frogbert

    frogbert New Member

    Black Tank

    Hey RonSR,

    No, I don't have an onboard rinsing system but do plan on getting one this weekend for next weekends trip. I had several people, on my first trip a couple weeks ago, tell me it's a must have.

    Ya know, to me it seems like common sense to wear rubber gloves and shoes (not sandles) when doing this. I've seen countless times, while camping, people at the dump station barefoot or in sandles and no gloves. What happens if your hose springs a leak or you don't connect it very well and it starts spewing all over? Yeah, go walk thru that stuff to shut the valve! :dead:

    Thanks for the other tips.
     
  9. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Black Tank

    While I don't consider a flush system quite a "must have" as I was an RVer for years before they became available, I guess that I would consider it rather like having air conditioning in an RV. One of the things that you should have but could get by without. They don't cost much and are easy to install.

    If you use a tank additive, use one of the bacteria type products. Formaldehyde is not yet gone, but many places do not want it used. And why do so when there are other products that work well and that help the natural bacteria that make septic systems work. Many fulltime RVers do not use any additive at all. What is important is to use a toilette paper that is "septic system friendly."
     
  10. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Black Tank

    While I don't consider a flush system quite a "must have" as I was an RVer for years before they became available, I guess that I would consider it rather like having air conditioning in an RV. One of the things that you should have but could get by without. They don't cost much and are easy to install.

    If you use a tank additive, use one of the bacteria type products. Formaldehyde is not yet gone, but many places do not want it used. And why do so when there are other products that work well and that help the natural bacteria that make septic systems work. Many fulltime RVers do not use any additive at all. What is important is to use a toilette paper that is "septic system friendly."
     
  11. rlmurraysr59

    rlmurraysr59 New Member

    Black Tank

    I wasn't really talking about installing a flush system. My last travel trailer and my current motorhome both have built in flush systems. I don't know if they work all that well. Guess it depends on the water pressure. Don't know. But I do know that the wand that I made up using a brass shut off valve, a 3' length of copper tubing, a small brass spray nozzle, and the necessary fittings to be able to connect it to a water hose, does a really good job of rinsing the loose material out of the tank as I turn it around. I put my foot on the toilet lever and then put the want down into the tank, turn on the water, and spray.

    I don't think I would go to the expense of putting in a flushing system if I didn't already have one.

    Let's go safely camping.
     
  12. frogbert

    frogbert New Member

    Black Tank

    When people told me it was a must have, they were referring to the wand type rinser and not an installed rinsing system.

    I meant to ask the person I was parked next to a few weeks ago about his system. I was using the regular flexible sewer hose and he had, what seemed to be, a garden hose going from the trailer to the sewer hookup at the site. He had a motorhome and I guess I'm wondering if some systems actually "grind" everything up and pump it out?
     
  13. rlmurraysr59

    rlmurraysr59 New Member

    Black Tank

    I have never heard of a system like that. My motorhome has a system inside the tank that uses spray nozzles to direct the waste toward the pipe. I just have to assume it works. I know that when I put the wand down the toilet that the pressure loosens most of the debri that is left clinging.

    I have put the wand into the tank with the valve closed so that the waste can't get out. Then I go outside and open the valve. I have a clear plastic elbow on the end of the waste pipe that my flex hose is connected too. It isn't a pretty picture but I can tell that there is waste coming out of the tank after I have loosened it with the wand spray. I have also seen these elbows with a hose connection in them so that water can be forced back up into the black water tank. I hope that the people who use these elbows don't hook them up using the white fresh water hose that supplies their drinking water. I believe they come with a warning label that advises against it.

    Good list of post.
     
  14. frogbert

    frogbert New Member

    Black Tank

    I had thought perhaps this person had hooked the kitchen sink directly to the sewer, but unless he put a check valve in there'd be odor coming back from the sewer. That's why I thought I'd ask...for all I knew maybe some black tanks had a "garbage disposal" type system to chop everything up and then pump it out.

    Anyway...with the RV I purchased they threw in a few things like the sewer hose and a wedge type sewer hose seal. I've been warned that these can pop off...is this something that is common and should I get an elbow? The last thing I want is black tank goodies spewing all over the site.
     
  15. Ed H.

    Ed H. New Member

    Black Tank

    frogbert, your neighbor may have had a macerater pump on his motorhome. They aren't common, but the idea is, as you guessed, to chopo it all up and pump it out through a smaller hose.
    The other thing I've seen is that he was just using the small hose for gray water. If the coach has a huge black water tank, it may take a very long time to fill up, longer than the stay where you were, so why bother with the big hose when the smaller one will do?
     
  16. frogbert

    frogbert New Member

    Black Tank

    I guess I didn't think of emptying the grey tank that way especially since there isn't anything other than water and or soap in there...but thanks for letting me know there are grind and pump black tanks out there...it was just odd to see.
     
  17. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Black Tank

    When I am camped and all hooked up, I leave the black tank valve closed until I get ready to dump it. I leave the grey tank valve open all the time, since it is a smaller tank and I don't want to have to dump every other day.
     
  18. zigzagrv

    zigzagrv New Member

    Black Tank

    Slightly off topic here, but has anyone had any luck with the 'sensor cleaners' sold for cleaning up the sensors in the black and gray water tanks? :question: Mine are erratic and unreliable right now. I do use the wand in the black tank, but can't use it in the gray water tank.
     
  19. ARCHER

    ARCHER Senior Member

    Black Tank

    Mine works sometimes and sometimes not. Since I leave the grey hooked up and open, I don't worry aobut it. The black (as you say, I use wand also and it works pretty good). Right before you leave your site, dump black, put ice cubes in black tank and drive. The ice does have some help in knocking it loose from the sensors in the black tank. Also, some treatments you can buy do help (I use the yellow stuff from Wally World).
     
  20. curshe

    curshe New Member

    Black Tank

    I made a wand with a four foot section of pvc pipe.
    The list of parts:
    four feet of half in pvc pipe
    one end cap
    one threaded end
    one hose end to screw on pipe
    one garden hose type ball valve small lever on/off
    you may want to use a 90degree on top to keep the hose from kinking
    Before gluing together drill three rows of four holes I use 3/32 smaller may be better. Bottom row should angle towards the bottom of pipe middle row straight out top row angled up, drill a hole in the very bottom cap just cause.
    This wand can be inserted down through opening after draining black tank and rotated to knock debris off rotate it until the water covers the holes in the wand and empty. A couple times and it will be clean. Well in a relitive way ;)
    Oh total price with glue ten dollars and small change :laugh:
     

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